Baguio Covid-19 numbers on the rise

Baguio Covid-19 numbers on the rise

Months after emerging from the delta variant surge, Baguio City is now faced with an upturn in its Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases amid the threat of another wave due to the omicron variant.

City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo in a report during the Jan. 4 Management Committee (MANCOM) meeting led by Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the daily average of cases rose from 0-1 in week Dec. 19-25 to 9 in week Dec. 26-Jan. 1.

“From Nov. 7 up to the third week of December, there was a decrease in the number of active cases but last week, the cases increased from 4 to 63,” she said.

Results in other indicators also put the city under the moderate risk classification.

Galpo said the positivity rate hiked from 0.2 percent in week Dec. 19-25 to 2.72 percent on week Dec. 26-Jan.1. 

“Although it is still below the threshold of 5, the fact that it increased is already significant,” she said.

The weekly infection rate, a new metric being used by the city based on the Singapore model, is 3.19 percent which is above the threshold of 1 and means the number of cases is increasing.

The reproduction number or average number of persons a patient can infect is 4 as of Dec. 28.

Numbers from other indicators also rose as of Jan. 4 from the Dec. 28 data: positivity rate from 0.5 percent to 1.14 percent; average daily attack rate (ADAR) from 0.6 percent to 1.13 percent; two-week growth rate (TWGR) from -65 to +31.

Hospital critical utilization rate upped slightly from 38.57 percent to 39 percent while isolation unit utilization rate significantly hiked from 1.11 percent to 11 percent.

Unlike in other areas, testing and contact tracing have been sustained in the city, Galpo said.

City Epidemiologist Dr. Donnabel Panes said the upsurge in case is expected to continue in the coming days as indicators showed ongoing active transmission.

She said factors that contributed to the increase include increase in people mobility and the lag time in testing.

The city had prepared a contingency plan for the omicron with improvements done based on experience from the delta wave.

“Based on the experience of other countries, omicron is more transmissible thus we expect more cases.  The good news is it has less severe symptoms so we see less hospitalization.  However, the tendency is to overwhelm the isolation units since there will be more asymptomatic to mild cases,” Galpo said.

She reminded the public to abide by the minimum public health standards at all times. – Aileen P. Refuerzo